In Memory - June 2022

Published: 03 June 2022


AVMA member | AVMA honor roll member | Nonmember


Richard W. Bachmeyer Sr.

Dr. Bachmeyer (Ohio State ’53), 93, Florence, Kentucky, died March 1, 2022. He owned Bachmeyer Animal Clinic in Walton, Kentucky, for more than 37 years prior to retirement. Dr. Bachmeyer was a veteran of the Air Force. His son, daughter, two grandchildren, and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to Walton United Methodist Church, 68 South Main St., Walton, KY 41094.

Bill F. Barnum

Dr. Barnum (Oklahoma State ’66), 80, Stratford, Oklahoma, died Oct. 20, 2021. Following graduation, he established a practice in Beaver, Oklahoma. In 1970, Dr. Barnum joined a practice in Spearman, Texas, where he focused on equine and feedlot production medicine for three years. He then moved to southeastern Oklahoma, founding a cow/calf ranching business. In 1977, Dr. Barnum began working as a veterinary circuit supervisor for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry. From 1995 until retirement, he served as director of the ODAFF’s Food Safety Division. Dr. Barnum was active with the local chapter of the National FFA Organization. His wife, Delma; two sons; and four grandchildren survive him.

Henry DeBoer Jr.

Dr. DeBoer (Cornell ’73), 74, Guilford, Vermont, died Nov. 10, 2021. He owned Pioneer Valley Veterinary Hospital in Greenfield, Massachusetts, where he practiced small animal medicine for nearly 30 years prior to retirement. During that time, Dr. DeBoer also owned Amherst Veterinary Clinic in Amherst, Massachusetts, and founded Working K9 Services in Guilford. He competed with his working dogs in the sport of Schutzhund, which tests a dog’s tracking, obedience, and protection skills. Dr. DeBoer’s wife, Faye; a son, a stepdaughter, and a stepson; and seven grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to the Franklin County Regional Dog Shelter, 10 Sandy Lane, Turners Falls, MA 01376, or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, P.O. Box 22324, New York, NY 10087.

Dominic S. Gentile

Dr. Gentile (Iowa State ’21), 28, Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, died Oct. 29, 2021. He practiced at Whitehouse Veterinary Hospital in Whitehouse Station. Dr. Gentile is survived by his wife, Alexandra; his parents; and a sister and a brother. Memorials may be made to Cycle for Survival, 888 Second Ave., 7th Floor, New York, NY 10017, cycleforsurvival.org.

Jay Willard Gilpin

Dr. Gilpin (Georgia ’60), 89, Euless, Texas, died Oct. 19, 2021. During his career, he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, serving as area supervisor for Mississippi and Tennessee. Dr. Gilpin also conducted free rabies clinics in Memphis, Tennessee. He was a veteran of the Navy. Dr. Gilpin is survived by his wife, Irene; a daughter, a son, and two stepsons; eight grandchildren; and his great-grandchildren.

Roger F. Hagenberg

Dr. Hagenberg (Illinois ’70), 76, Orland Park, Illinois, died March 6, 2022. He was a partner at Bremen Animal Hospital in Tinley Park, Illinois, prior to retirement in 2017. Dr. Hagenberg is survived by his wife, Jeanne; three daughters and a son; and nine grandchildren.

Jimmy L. Howard

Dr. Howard (Texas A&M ’60), 87, Amarillo, Texas, died Sept. 27, 2021. Following graduation, he owned a practice in Amarillo for several years. In 1972, Dr. Howard moved to Manhattan, Kansas, to teach at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine. He subsequently taught at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine and in Nigeria and Botswana. Dr. Howard later moved back to Texas, where he worked for the Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory and served as a field veterinarian for the state, working on brucellosis projects. He was a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. Dr. Howard’s wife, Sammi; two sons and a daughter; 16 grandchildren; and 31 great-grandchildren survive him.

William G. Komazec

Dr. Komazec (Pennsylvania ’68), 79, Tinton Falls, New Jersey, died Feb. 3, 2022. He co-founded Colonial Veterinary Clinic in Colts Neck, New Jersey, where he practiced small animal medicine prior to retirement in 2015. Dr. Komazec previously practiced at Monmouth Animal Hospital in Little Silver, New Jersey. He is survived by his wife, Helen; two daughters and a son; two grandchildren; and a brother. Memorials may be made to the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 260 Wall St., Eatontown, NJ 07724.

Henry E. Lawston

Dr. Lawston (Minnesota ’68), 79, Lanesboro, Minnesota, died Feb. 18, 2022. Following graduation, he worked at Caledonia Veterinary Service in Caledonia, Minnesota, for a year. Dr. Lawston then established a mixed animal practice in Lanesboro. In 1987, he joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture, working in meat inspection. Dr. Lawston retired at the age of 71, subsequently working part time as an inspector for five years. He is survived by his wife, Harriet; two sons; and three grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Gundersen Health Systems Foundation, 1900 South Ave., La Crosse, WI 54601.

Eric R. Lewis

Dr. Lewis (Auburn ’90), 56, Montgomery, Alabama, died Oct. 4, 2021. Following graduation, he joined Bell Road Animal Medical Center in Montgomery. Dr. Lewis eventually became owner of the practice. He was a member of the Alabama VMA and helped establish the Alabama Practice Owners Association. Dr. Lewis was a charter member of the Montgomery Sunrise Rotary, serving as its president from 2006-07. He also served as a district communications officer for the Rotary Club and was a Paul Harris Fellow.

Dr. Lewis’ wife, Wendi; his parents; and two sisters survive him. Memorials may be made to the Rotary Foundation, One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave., Evanston, IL 60201, or to the Montgomery Humane Society, 1150 John Overton Drive, Montgomery, AL 36110.

Harry J. Lueders

Dr. Lueders (Texas A&M ’64), 89, Victoria, Texas, died Feb. 17, 2022. Following graduation, he worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as an area veterinarian in south Texas, helping to eradicate brucellosis in cattle. In 1965, Dr. Lueders moved to Victoria, where he established a small animal practice. He held leadership positions with the Golden Crescent VMA and the Kiwanis Club of Victoria and was active with the Association of Former Students at Texas A&M University. Dr. Lueders was a veteran of the Air Force, attaining the rank of captain in the Air Force Reserve. His wife, Patsy; two sons; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and two sisters survive him.

Michael H. Milts

Dr. Milts (Cornell ’62), 84, Brevard, North Carolina, died Jan. 24, 2022. Following graduation, he established a practice in New York City. Dr. Milts also served as veterinarian for the zoos in New York City and for the Dawn Animal Agency, which provided animals for television and motion pictures. He was a member of the advisory board that regulated the horse carriage rides in the city’s Central Park and wrote columns for the New York Post and other publications. Dr. Milts authored “Only a Gringo Would Die for an Anteater: The Adventures of a Veterinarian.” He is survived by his wife, Vernetta, and two sisters.

Roy H. Peterson

Dr. Peterson (Washington State ’46), 98, Tillamook, Oregon, died Jan. 21, 2022. He practiced primarily large animal medicine in Tillamook County prior to retirement in the early 1990s. Dr. Peterson also served as the track veterinarian for the Tillamook County Fair for 40 years. He represented District XI on what was then the AVMA Executive Board from 1978-84, served on the AVMA Animal Agriculture Liaison Committee, and was a past president of the Oregon VMA and the former American Association of Retired Veterinarians. In 1998, Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences honored Dr. Peterson with a Diamond Pioneer Award for lifetime contributions to agriculture, natural resources, and the people of Oregon. In 1999, he received the Oregon VMA Meritorious Service Award.

Dr. Peterson was active with the Oregon Farm Bureau, Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club, Shriners, and Masonic Lodge. His two daughters, a son, 11 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and a brother survive him.

Curtis T. Schafer

Dr. Schafer (Minnesota ’55), 92, Brandon, South Dakota, died Dec. 16, 2021. Following graduation, he owned a large animal practice in Wabasso, Minnesota. Dr. Schafer subsequently practiced in Hutchinson, Minnesota, for several years. In 1971, he moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and worked for GTA Feeds Harvest States, an animal feed company, until retirement. Dr. Schafer is survived by his wife, Shirley; two daughters; a grandchild; and a great-grandchild.

William W. Somerville

Dr. Somerville (Purdue ’79), 71, Nashville, Tennessee, died Feb. 18, 2022. He owned a small animal practice in Clinton, Indiana, for more than 30 years. Dr. Somerville served several years on the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, was a past president of the Indiana VMA and represented District 7 on the IVMA board of directors, and was a past chair of the Indiana Animal Health Foundation. In 2010, he was named IVMA Veterinarian of the Year.

Active in his community, Dr. Somerville was a past president of the Vermillion County Board of Health and was a member of the Vermillion Trails Alliance. His wife, Elaine; a son and a daughter; six grandchildren; and two brothers and a sister survive him. Memorials may be made to the Indiana Animal Health Foundation, 1202 E. 38th St., Suite 200, Indianapolis, IN 46205; Vermillion Trails Alliance, 703 West Park St., Cayuga, IN 47928; or Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, 625 Harrison St., West Lafayette, IN 47907.

Linda J. Sullivan

Dr. Sullivan (Wisconsin ’87), 67, Madison, Wisconsin, died Feb. 1, 2022. She was a clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, retiring as a professor emeritus in 2019. Dr. Sullivan also served as coordinator for the Pet Pals pet therapy program at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison and was active with PuppyUp Madison and Czar’s Promise, organizations that seek to eliminate cancer in pets and people. In 2003, she received what is now known as the Zoetis Distinguished Veterinary Teacher Award.

Dr. Sullivan is survived by her sister and her brother. Memorials, toward the Niles Newton Sullivan Fund for the American Family Children’s Hospital Dog Care Program, may be made to the University of Wisconsin Foundation, 1848 University Ave., Madison, WI 53726, or to Czar’s Promise, P.O. Box 5061, Madison, WI 53705.

Tracy A. Thompson

Dr. Thompson (Washington State ’97), 57, Longmont, Colorado, died Dec. 9, 2021. Following graduation, she worked as an associate veterinarian at Parrish Creek Veterinary Clinic in Centerville, Utah, where she practiced small and exotic animal medicine. Dr. Thompson subsequently served as a staff veterinarian at the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City. In 2002, she established an in-home practice, also serving as an attending veterinarian for Animal Welfare Act–licensed exhibitors. Dr. Thompson later consulted for Protherics-Utah, overseeing and caring for Mojave rattlesnakes used in antivenom production, and taught at what was known as Utah Career College.

In 2004, she joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. During her 17-year tenure with the USDA, Dr. Thompson worked in animal welfare for the western region; was the veterinary medical officer for the National Park Service; and served as attending veterinarian for the NPS Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee in Fort Collins, Colorado. She was twice named Western Region Inspector of the Year and received an Administrator’s Award and several certificates of appreciation. She was active with the Association of Zoos & Aquariums and the Colorado VMA.

Dr. Thompson is survived by her husband, Kevin; her father; and a sister. Memorials may be made to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 199 Water St., 11th Floor, New York, NY 10038; Girls on the Run Rockies, 7000 E. Belleview Ave., Suite 130, Greenwood Village, CO 80111; or Longmont Humane Society, 9595 Nelson Road, Longmont, CO 80501.

A. Robert Twardock

Dr. Twardock (Illinois ’56), 90, Savoy, Illinois, died Sept. 3, 2021. Following graduation, he practiced small animal medicine for a year in Danville, Illinois. Dr. Twardock then moved to Ithaca, New York, where he earned his PhD in veterinary medicine from Cornell University. He subsequently joined the veterinary faculty at the University of Illinois. During his 40-year tenure, Dr. Twardock taught radiation biology and physiology and served as associate dean of the veterinary college.

His wife, Mary; a daughter and three sons; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren survive him. Memorials may be made to First Presbyterian Church, Attn: Bob Twardock Music Ministry, 302 W. Church St., Champaign, IL 61820; the University of Illinois, Attn: A. Robert Twardock and Mary Twardock Track and Field Scholarship, 1700 S. Fourth St., Champaign, IL 61820; or Heart of Mary Medical Center Hospice, Attn: Twardock Memorial, OSF Health Care Foundation, 1400 W. Park St., Urbana, IL 61801.

Donald A. Waltman

Dr. Waltman (Ohio State ’62), 84, Baltic, Ohio, died Feb. 20, 2022. Following graduation, he served in the Army Veterinary Corps, attaining the rank of captain. Dr. Waltman subsequently practiced mixed animal medicine in Baltic. He was a member of the Ohio VMA. Dr. Waltman is survived by his wife, Gretchen; a son and a daughter; six grandchildren; and a brother.

John V. White Jr.

Dr. White (Colorado State ’73), 78, Loveland, Colorado, died Jan. 25, 2022. He worked for Centennial Livestock Auctions for 47 years. Dr. White also bred, raised, and raced Appaloosa horses and was inducted into the Appaloosa Racehorse Hall of Fame. He was a veteran of the Army. Dr. White’s wife, Beth; a daughter; two grandchildren; and a brother survive him.

Leslie W. Williams

Dr. Williams (Missouri ’54), 91, Dexter, Missouri, died Sept. 29, 2021. He was a veterinary supervisor with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Dexter prior to retirement.

Following graduation, Dr. Williams served as a second lieutenant in the Army. He then joined the USDA as an inspector in Kansas City, Missouri, also establishing an in-home veterinary practice during that time. In the late 1950s, Dr. Williams founded Hickman Mills Animal Hospital in Kansas City. He later became a diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists and served as veterinarian for the city of Las Vegas, focusing on veterinary ophthalmology. Dr. Williams subsequently rejoined the USDA.

Active in his community, he was a past president of the Hickman Mills Chamber of Commerce, served as community liaison for the former Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Kansas City, and was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Lions Club. Dr. Williams is survived by his life partner, Bonnie Meritt; a son and two daughters; and six grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, 1520 E. Rollins St, Columbia, MO 65211.

Carl L. Zymet

Dr. Zymet (Cornell ’63), 84, Stoneham, Massachusetts, died Nov. 18, 2021. Following graduation, he worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stationed in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Zymet subsequently owned Zymet Animal Clinic, a small animal practice in Ossining, New York, for more than 40 years. He was a diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and a member of the Westchester Rockland VMA.

Dr. Zymet served as a captain in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He is survived by his wife, Barbara; two sons and a daughter; and three grandchildren. Memorials may be made to Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Box 39, 930 Campus Road, Ithaca, NY 14853.